Today, we received another dismissal of a debt collection lawsuit filed in Tulsa County by Love Beal and Nixon for their client, Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC. Portfolio Recovery Associates filed its credit card lawsuit against the Oklahoma consumer in September of 2013. Luckily, the Tulsa consumer contacted Paramount Law after she saw our post about Portfolio Recovery Associates and hired us to represent her interests and to prevent a default judgment being given to this junk debt buyer by the Tulsa Court.
Portfolio Recovery Associates (which now does business as “PRA Group”) is a publicly-traded company (Nasdaq:PRAA) that purchases defaulted consumer debt, tries to collect on that debt through telephone calls and letters, then if it is unable to collect, files a junk debt credit card lawsuit against consumers through a debt collection law firm like Love Beal and Nixon. Portfolio Recovery Associates claims that “By acquiring non-performing consumer debt, [it] returns capital to global banks and other creditors to help expand financial services for consumers…” However, according to the 2013 Annual Report filed by Portfolio Recovery Associates, the average amount it pays for this defaulted consumer debt is only 3.8%. However, when it tries to collect, it doesn’t just try to collect 3.8%. On the contrary, when it files a lawsuit through attorneys like Love Beal and Nixon, it demands the original amount charged off by the credit card company, plus attorney fees plus court filing fees.
Debt buyers like Portfolio Recovery Associates are always looking for the low hanging fruit. They count on most consumers not filing an answer with the court to the credit card lawsuit. After the consumer fails to Answer the lawsuit, the debt collector is able to obtain a default judgment against the consumer, allowing it to immediately begin wage garnishment (up to 25% in Oklahoma), and garnishment from the consumer’s bank account (unlimited amount, other than federally protected funds). They know that the odds are with them. Only about 1 consumer out of 10 will file an answer with the court!
The consumer’s best weapon against a Portfolio Recovery Associates lawsuit is a consumer protection lawyer that practices in the area of debt defense. Once you hire an attorney that knows this area of law, that attorney will request documentation from Portfolio Recovery Associates asking it to prove the allegations in its Petition. However, it is extremely rare that Portfolio Recovery Associates will actually continue to fight the lawsuit it has filed after a debt defense attorney like Paramount Law enters an appearance on behalf of a consumer. Please note that it is important to engage legal counsel very early on these cases. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is for a consumer attorney to work your case successfully and economically.
Paramount Law offers free consultations and may be able to represent you without any charge at all if you have been the victim of an FDCPA violation prior to the lawsuit filed against you.